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Beautiful Questions: “How Humans Learn” and the Future of Education - Los Angeles Review of Books
"How Humans Learn The Science and Stories Behind Effective College Teaching By Joshua R. Eyler Published 10.24.2018 West Virginia University Press 312 Pages"
book  review  learning  education  neurology  social-science 
may 2019 by tsuomela
Silent Minds | The New Yorker
About minimally conscious and vegetative patients who may be more aware than expected.
neurology  neuroscience  consciousness  medicine 
july 2017 by tsuomela
NIF | Welcome...
"Welcome to the Neuroscience Information Framework Project, designed to serve the biomedical research community. NIF maintains the largest searchable collection of neuroscience data, the largest catalog of biomedical resources, and the largest ontology for neuroscience on the web. We welcome all feedback and suggestions and are actively looking for resource providers to make their resources accessible through NIF. Learn about the tools available to help you share your data and discover a dynamic inventory of Web-based neuroscience resources. "
data-sources  neuroscience  neurology 
march 2017 by tsuomela
Humans Already Use Way, Way More Than 10 Percent of Their Brains - Sam McDougle - The Atlantic
"It’s a complex, constantly multi-tasking network of tissue—but the myth persists."
neurology  neuroscience  brain  meme  persistence 
july 2014 by tsuomela
"But what if you could establish the neural pathways that lead to virtuosity more quickly? That is the promise of transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS — the passage of very low-level electrical current through targeted areas of the brain. Several studies conducted in medical and military settings indicate tDCS may bring improvements in cognitive function, motor skills and mood. "
cognition  memory  skill  expertise  learning  neurology  enhancement 
march 2014 by tsuomela
Peek inside your own brain! The rise of DIY neuroscience -
"Neuroscience is a rapidly growing field, but one that is usually thought to be too complex and expensive for average Americans to participate in directly. Now, an explosion of cheap scientific devices and online tutorials are on the verge of changing that. This change could have exciting implications for our future understanding of the brain."
diy  neurology  neuroscience  enhancement  cognition 
december 2013 by tsuomela
Adam Gopnik: The New Neuro-Skeptics : The New Yorker
"The really curious thing about minds and brains is that the truth about them lies not somewhere in the middle but simultaneously on both extremes. We know already that the wet bits of the brain change the moods of the mind: that’s why a lot of champagne gets sold on Valentine’s Day. On the other hand, if the mind were not a high-level symbol-managing device, flower sales would not rise on Valentine’s Day, too. Philosophy may someday dissolve into psychology and psychology into neurology, but since the lesson of neuro is that thoughts change brains as much as brains thoughts, the reduction may not reduce much that matters. As Montaigne wrote, we are always double in ourselves. Or, as they say on the Enterprise, it takes all kinds to run a starship."
books  review  neurology  neuroscience  science  explanation  psychology  philosophy 
september 2013 by tsuomela
See-through brains clarify connections : Nature News & Comment
"A chemical treatment that turns whole organs transparent offers a big boost to the field of ‘connectomics’ — the push to map the brain’s fiendishly complicated wiring. Scientists could use the technique to view large networks of neurons with unprecedented ease and accuracy. The technology also opens up new research avenues for old brains that were saved from patients and healthy donors."
science  neurology  brain  brain-imaging  biology  neuroscience  imaging 
april 2013 by tsuomela
Seeing God in the Third Millennium - Oliver Sacks - The Atlantic
"Hallucinations, whether revelatory or banal, are not of supernatural origin; they are part of the normal range of human consciousness and experience. This is not to say that they cannot play a part in the spiritual life, or have great meaning for an individual. Yet while it is understandable that one might attribute value, ground beliefs, or construct narratives from them, hallucinations cannot provide evidence for the existence of any metaphysical beings or places. They provide evidence only of the brain's power to create them."
hallucination  brain  neurology  experience  perception  religion  spirituality 
december 2012 by tsuomela
Neurology vs. Psychiatry: The Social Production of Knowledge » Sociological Images
"The divisions between neurology and psychiatry suggested in the image above stir up lots of interesting questions not only about what we consider to be “neurological” or “psychiatric”, but more generally about the social production of knowledge."
neurology  psychiatry  knowledge  social  sociology  psychology  discipline  boundaries 
october 2011 by tsuomela
MIT Press Journals - Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience - Abstract - The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations
Explanations of psychological phenomena seem to generate more public interest when they contain neuroscientific information. Even irrelevant neuroscience information in an explanation of a psychological phenomenon may interfere with people's abilities to critically consider the underlying logic of this explanation.
neuroscience  neurology  explanation  belief  perception  credibility  trust 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Human Brain Limits Twitter Friends To 150 - Technology Review
"It turns out that when people start tweeting, their number of friends increases until they become overwhelmed. Beyond that saturation point, the conversations with less important contacts start to become less frequent and the tweeters begin to concentrate on the people they have the strongest links with.

So what is the saturation point? Or, in other words, how many people can tweeters maintain contact with before they get overwhelmed? The answer is between 100 and 200, just as Dunbar predicts. "
communication  networks  dunbar-number  social  behavior  sociology  neurology  brain  evolution  twitter  social-media 
may 2011 by tsuomela
Churchland, P.S.: Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality.
"What is morality? Where does it come from? And why do most of us heed its call most of the time? In Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Patricia Churchland argues that morality originates in the biology of the brain. She describes the "neurobiological platform of bonding" that, modified by evolutionary pressures and cultural values, has led to human styles of moral behavior. The result is a provocative genealogy of morals that asks us to reevaluate the priority given to religion, absolute rules, and pure reason in accounting for the basis of morality"
book  publisher  philosophy  neurology  biology  ethics  morality 
may 2011 by tsuomela
PLoS ONE: The Magic Grasp: Motor Expertise in Deception
"Most of us are poor at faking actions. Kinematic studies have shown that when pretending to pick up imagined objects (pantomimed actions), we move and shape our hands quite differently from when grasping real ones. These differences between real and pantomimed actions have been linked to separate brain pathways specialized for different kinds of visuomotor guidance. Yet professional magicians regularly use pantomimed actions to deceive audiences."
magic  research  biology  neurology  expertise  magician  movement  body 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Humans, Version 3.0 § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM
Neuronal recycling exploits this wellspring of potent powers. If one wants to get a human brain to do task Y despite it not having evolved to efficiently carry out task Y, then a key point is not to forcefully twist the brain to do Y. Like all animal brains, human brains are not general-purpose universal learning machines, but, instead, are intricately structured suites of instincts optimized for the environments in which they evolved. To harness our brains, we want to let the brain’s brilliant mechanisms run as intended—i.e., not to be twisted. Rather, the strategy is to twist Y into a shape that the brain does know how to process.
future  evolution  adaptation  neurology  biology  culture  music  language  human-enhancement 
march 2011 by tsuomela
A Real Science of Mind -
"In recent years popular science writing has bombarded us with titillating reports of discoveries of the brain’s psychological prowess. Such reports invade even introductory patter in biology and psychology. We are told that the brain — or some area of it sees, decides, reasons, knows, emotes, is altruistic/egotistical, or wants to make love. For example, a recent article reports a researcher’s “looking at love, quite literally, with the aid of an MRI machine.” One wonders whether lovemaking is to occur between two brains, or between a brain and a human being.

There are three things wrong with this talk."
science  psychology  neuroscience  mind  brain  philosophy  neurology  fmri  brain-imaging 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Book Review - Self Comes to Mind - By Antonio Damasio -
In “Self Comes to Mind,” the eminent neurologist and neuroscientist Antonio Damasio gives an account of consciousness that might come naturally to a highly caffeinated professor in his study. He emphasizes wakefulness, self-awareness, reflection, rationality, “knowledge of one’s own existence and of the existence of surroundings.”
book  review  philosophy  neurology  mind  consciousness 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Free will is not an illusion | spiked
Neuro-determinism, though seemingly self-evident, is also wrong.

The first line of attack is to remove the hype from the neuroscience of consciousness and remind ourselves how little we know. We understand even less. There is at present no adequate theory of qualia (the actual experience of things – such as the sensation of yellow, the feeling of warmth, the taste of wine);...
Secondly, we should question the focus on the stand-alone brain. The world we live in is not one of sparks of isolated sentience cast amid a rubble of material objects. We live in a world that is collectively constructed.
biology  neurology  determinism  philosophy  mind  mind-body 
november 2010 by tsuomela
This Is Your Brain on Metaphors -
But if the brain confusing reality and literalness with metaphor and symbol can have adverse consequences, the opposite can occur as well.
metaphor  language  brain  neurology  evolution  psychology  behavior  linguistics  cognition  reality  literalism  philosophy 
november 2010 by tsuomela
Henry Molaison Brain - Jacopo Annese Brain Study - Esquire
When a surgeon cut into Henry Molaison's skull to treat him for epilepsy, he inadvertently created the most important brain-research subject of our time — a man who could no longer remember, who taught us everything we know about memory. Six decades later, another daring researcher is cutting into Henry's brain. Another revolution in brain science is about to begin.
brain  neurology  memory  science 
november 2010 by tsuomela
Love takes up where pain leaves off, brain study shows
"When people are in this passionate, all-consuming phase of love, there are significant alterations in their mood that are impacting their experience of pain," said Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Pain Management, associate professor of anesthesia and senior author of the study, which will be published online Oct. 13 in PLoS ONE. "We're beginning to tease apart some of these reward systems in the brain and how they influence pain. These are very deep, old systems in our brain that involve dopamine — a primary neurotransmitter that influences mood, reward and motivation."
emotion  psychology  neurology  neuroimaging  fmri  love  pain 
october 2010 by tsuomela
You Are What You Touch: How Tool Use Changes the Brain's Representations of the Body: Scientific American
These results elegantly confirm that the human brain maintains a highly flexible representation of the body, despite the tendency in everyday life to think of ourselves as having a fixed personal identity, linked to our body. Two distinctive features of mental body representation emerge. First, from the brain’s perspective, the body is by far the most familiar object in the world: the body, as William James elegantly put it, is “always there.” In these experiments, the mechanical gripper could be treated as part of one’s own body...

Second, these studies suggest a view of the body as an interface between the brain and the external world. This view has important implications for human psychology generally.
philosophy  identity  perception  tools  technology  neurology  body  brain  mind-body 
september 2010 by tsuomela
Concealed Neuroanatomy in Michelangelo's Separation of Light... : Neurosurgery
It is reported that Michelangelo concealed an image of the brain in the first of these last 4 panels, namely, the Creation of Adam. Here we present evidence that he concealed another neuronanatomic structure in the final panel of this series, the Separation of Light From Darkness, specifically a ventral view of the brainstem.
art  anatomy  history  neurology 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Night - The New York Review of Books
I suffer from a motor neuron disorder, in my case a variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): Lou Gehrig's disease.
biography  experience  disability  neurology  diseases  health  essay  autobiography 
january 2010 by tsuomela
Temptation : The Frontal Cortex
Our moral intuitions (influenced by Genesis) tell us that everyone wants to take the money and run, that we're all attracted by the possibility of unearned cash. But this latest study suggests that, at least for the people who take the wallet to the police, there is no temptation to resist. They don't steal because they don't want to steal; telling the truth isn't hard work. They are living, in other words, in a state of moral grace, at least when it comes to the wallet.
neurology  neuroimaging  brain-imaging  fmri  morality  temptation  ethics  choice  psychology  philosophy 
november 2009 by tsuomela
Dopaminergic Aesthetics : The Frontal Cortex
The purpose of pleasure, then, is to make it easier for the pleasurable sensation - the delicious taste, the elegant idea, the desired object - to enter the crowded theater of consciousness, so that we'll go out and get it. That's why we've got a highway of nerves connecting the parts of the dopamine reward pathway - the nucleus accumbens, ventral striatum, etc - to the prefrontal cortex. (This also means that a well-turned phrase or pretty painting will be more likely to get stuck in working memory, since it's more rewarding. Aesthetics are really about attention.)
neurology  brain  science  drugs  pleasure  goals  happiness  hedonism  psychology  philosophy  aesthetics  neuroscience  dopamine  hormones  attention 
november 2009 by tsuomela
The Chemistry of Information Addiction: Scientific American
So why do dopamine neurons treat information as a reward? It’s easy to see how treating information this way might be a useful evolutionary adaptation. For many animals, each day consists of numerous decisions that pertain to eating, reproducing and socializing. Obviously, having access to more relevant information – such as knowing where the food is located - allows animals to make better decisions. Furthermore, having access to such information might give us better control over our environment, thus increasing our chances of survival.
information  neurology  rewards  evolutionary-psychology 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Religious Experience Linked to Brain’s Social Regions | Wired Science |
In a study published Monday in Public Library of Science ONE, Grafman’s team used an MRI to measure the brains areas in 40 people of varying degrees of religious belief.

People who reported an intimate experience of God, engaged in religious behavior or feared God, tended to have larger-than-average brain regions devoted to empathy, symbolic communication and emotional regulation
religion  brain-imaging  brain  neurology  mri  theology  psychology  evolutionary-psychology  evolution 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Slate Magazine - Seeking
by Emily Yoffe. Summary of research by Jaak Panskeep and Kent Berridge into our desire for additional information. Speculates this desire is akin to addiction systems. "How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's dangerous."
psychology  neuroscience  mental  technology  information  addiction  behavior  seeking  information-overload  information-use  brain  neurology 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Should Creative Workers Use Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs? | Open The Future | Fast Company
For those of you who haven't been watching this trend, the dilemma is that certain pharmaceuticals intended to treat cognitive and neurological disorders--primarily, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy--and, when used by people without these disorders, provide a kind of cognitive boost. This usually means increased focus and concentration, but it can also mean better spatial reasoning, greater alertness, and improved "clarity" of thinking. As a result, it's apparently becoming increasingly common for people in "knowledge work" professions to take these drugs as a way of improving their performance.
drugs  health  mental  brain  neurology  cognitive-enhancement 
may 2009 by tsuomela
Social Networking and the Brain: Continuous Partial Empathy? | Open The Future | Fast Company
For more than a decade, tech pundits and business consultants have gone on about the "attention economy," arguing that attention has economic value due to its limited availability. It strikes me that this may miss the greater point. From a social perspective, what's limited isn't attention, but consideration. Not just hearing, but listening. Not just seeing a message, but understanding its meaning.
attention  continuous-partial-attention  psychology  empathy  neurology  about(AntonioDamasio)  brain  social 
april 2009 by tsuomela
Finding Connections: How Do the Parts of the Brain Interact?: Scientific American
As our understanding of the brain has improved, however, it has become clear that a more accurate model depends on how these modules are wired together in circuits. A technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) gives us a tool to probe the nature of those connections. A recent study suggests, for instance, that the more a person seeks out new experiences and relies on social approval, the stronger his or her wiring is among brain areas involved in reward, emotion and decision making.
neuroimaging  neurology  neuroscience  neurons  brain  brain-imaging  structure  technology  medicine 
april 2009 by tsuomela
Brain immediately recognizes transplanted hand : Neurophilosophy
This study shows that the reorganizational changes which occur following amputation are reversible. 35 years after Savage lost his hand, the organization of his somatosensory cortex returned to a state that is indistinguishable from what would have been expected in before the amputation, even though the functional reorganization would have increased with time.
neuroimaging  neurology  neuroscience  phantom-limb  amputation  psychology  experience  brain  brain-imaging 
april 2009 by tsuomela
Genetics of Brain Fiber Architecture and Intellectual Performance -- Chiang et al. 29 (7): 2212 -- Journal of Neuroscience
Journal article for the Science Daily story "More Evidence That Intelligence Is Largely Inherited: Researchers Find That Genes Determine Brain's Processing Speed"
neurology  neuroscience  neuroimaging  brain-imaging  intelligence  genetics  mri 
march 2009 by tsuomela
More Evidence That Intelligence Is Largely Inherited: Researchers Find That Genes Determine Brain's Processing Speed
Intriguing article but frustratingly vague on the measurements used for intelligence testing. Apparently HARDI (High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging) can measure the diffusion of water through the brain, especially myelin. In yet another twin study (n=46 pairs) there appears to be a correlation between diffusion speed and intelligence.
neurology  neuroscience  biology  memory  intelligence  mri  brain-imaging  science  sts  mental  psychology 
march 2009 by tsuomela
[0901.2203] Neural Networks as dynamical systems
We consider neural networks from the point of view of dynamical systems theory. In this spirit we review recent results dealing with the following questions, adressed in the context of specific models. 1. Characterizing the collective dynamics
biology  neuralnetworks  neurology  model  dynamics  systems  complexity 
february 2009 by tsuomela
Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy : Article : Nature
Society must respond to the growing demand for cognitive enhancement. That response must start by rejecting the idea that 'enhancement' is a dirty word, argue Henry Greely and colleagues.
drugs  brain  neurology  neuroscience  pharmaceutical  cognition  psychology  ethics  learning  morality 
january 2009 by tsuomela
How the city hurts your brain -
The reason such seemingly trivial mental tasks leave us depleted is that they exploit one of the crucial weak spots of the brain. A city is so overstuffed with stimuli that we need to constantly redirect our attention so that we aren't distracted by irrelevant things, like a flashing neon sign or the cellphone conversation of a nearby passenger on the bus. This sort of controlled perception -- we are telling the mind what to pay attention to -- takes energy and effort. The mind is like a powerful supercomputer, but the act of paying attention consumes much of its processing power.
brain  psychology  nature  memory  attention  neuroscience  neurology  urban  city  natural  perception 
january 2009 by tsuomela
H. M., an Unforgettable Amnesiac, Dies at 82 - Obituary (Obit) -
In 1953, he underwent an experimental brain operation in Hartford to correct a seizure disorder, only to emerge from it fundamentally and irreparably changed. He developed a syndrome neurologists call profound amnesia. He had lost the ability to form new memories.

For the next 55 years, each time he met a friend, each time he ate a meal, each time he walked in the woods, it was as if for the first time.

And for those five decades, he was recognized as the most important patient in the history of brain science.
psychology  mind  memory  neurology  neuroscience  biology  sts  science  history  case-study 
december 2008 by tsuomela
The Science of Memory: An Infinite Loop in the Brain - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
"People say to me: Oh, how fascinating, it must be a treat to have a perfect memory," she says. Her lips twist into a thin smile. "But it's also agonizing."

In addition to good memories, every angry word, every mistake, every disappointment, every shock and every moment of pain goes unforgotten. Time heals no wounds for Price. "I don't look back at the past with any distance.
psychology  memory  mind  forgetting  emotion  neurology  case-study 
december 2008 by tsuomela
Neural Systems Responding to Degrees of Uncertainty in Human Decision-Making -- Hsu et al. 310 (5754): 1680 -- Science
Much is known about how people make decisions under varying levels of probability (risk). Less is known about the neural basis of decision-making when probabilities are uncertain because of missing information (ambiguity). In decision theory, ambiguity about probabilities should not affect choices. Using functional brain imaging, we show that the level of ambiguity in choices correlates positively with activation in the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex, and negatively with a striatal system. Moreover, striatal activity correlates positively with expected reward. Neurological subjects with orbitofrontal lesions were insensitive to the level of ambiguity and risk in behavioral choices. These data suggest a general neural circuit responding to degrees of uncertainty, contrary to decision theory.
neurology  decision-making  ambiguity  risk  psychology  images  mental  brain-imaging 
october 2008 by tsuomela
PLoS Biology - Timing the Brain: Mental Chronometry as a Tool in Neuroscience
How do we relate human thought processes to measurable events in the brain? Mental chronometry, which has origins that date back more than a century, seeks to measure the time course of mental operations in the human nervous system [1]. From the late 1800s until 1950, the field was built almost entirely around a single method: measuring and comparing people's reaction times during simple cognitive tasks.
neurology  neuroscience  time  perception  psychology  mental-process  sts  history  via:vielmetti 
september 2008 by tsuomela
I Need My Sleep! « Neurotic Physiology
But apparently there is somewhat of a controversy in science as to whether or not sleep is essential. Or rather, not whether sleep is essential, but whether it evolved because it serves a function in itself. There are two sides to the debate. One side says that sleep probably serves a special function in itself. The other side says that sleep is something that mostly happened to keep you from moving around and wasting energy when you don’t need to (think hibernation), and that THEN other functions came to go with sleep, and now sleep, though it doesn’t have a function in itself, is important because of the other things that happen during it.
biology  research  sleep  psychology  evolution  neurology 
august 2008 by tsuomela
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